While we aren’t too keen on dairy farms, we do believe the study below is powerful research about the benefits of sprouts to both humans and dairy cattle. This experiment was conducted by the Govind Dairy in India. The study was made available by the International Sprout Growers Association, of which we are members. The summary of the study follows:
Govind dairy is always looking for ways to lower the cost of milk production by reducing expenses. Our respected Dr. Ganpatrao Dhumal has studied the health benefits of sprouts and the effects of natural foods on humans and has begun adding sprouted seeds and grains to his regular diet. He experienced excellent results by adding sprouts in his diet and so shared the same with his colleagues. They also started sprouting and experienced similar health benefits.
As cattle feed cost is a major challenge and an expensive part of the milk business, milk prices necessarily go up along with the increasing cost of feed. Dr. Dhumal considered that if sprouts provided him a benefit, why not cattle? He asked our field staff to conduct a sprouts trial at the farm of Mr. Dhanaji Jadhav Adarki. The farm has six cows of which two were taken for experiment and four were kept as control. For the two cows fed sprouted grains and seeds, we found that the cost of cattle feed is reduced and milk yield and quality improved significantly, as did the health of the animals. After this initial trial, we shared our findings with other local producers.
What we can use for sprouts and their importance:
We used sprouted soybeans, lentils, green peas, black-eyed peas, cow peas, chick pea (garbanzos), pigeon peas, wheat, oats & corn. Generally, the sprouted legumes have 2.5 times weight after sprouting due to the adsorption of water and the single-seeded grains about double in weight.
- Minerals: In sprouts, the grain's minerals get converted into the chelated form, which absorbs well in the body.
- Proteins: Sprouts are a great source of proteins due to availability and an increased percentage of amino acids. These important factors are easily absorbed in the body.
- Vitamins: Sprouts have many vitamins, mainly vitamins A, B and K are increased to 200 – 600% versus the non-sprouted seed.
- Enzymes & antioxidants: Sprouts have many types of enzymes, which help the digestion process. Antioxidants react with the toxins produced during the digestion and deactivate them.
Sprouted cereals/legumes with incremental availability of nutrients:
|Proteins||30 % more|
|Calcium||34 % more|
|Potassium||80 % more|
|Sodium||690 % more|
|Iron||40 % more|
|Phosphorus||56 % more|
|Vitamin A||285 % more|
|Vitamin B 1||208 % more|
|Vitamin B 2||515 % more|
|Vitamin B 3||256 % more|
|Vitamin K||much more|
Use of sprouts as cattle feed provided the following benefits:
- Cattle feed expenses: Cattle feed expenses have been reduced by 30 to 50%. Sprouted grains give 2 to 2.5 times the increased weight, thus the animals get a good return in less quantity.
- Milk Yield: The animals are getting chelated minerals, required proteins, and enzymes from sprouts, which has produced an increased milk yield of 10-15%. The increased yield began on about the 2nd or 3rd day of sprout feeding.
- Milk Quality: Milk Fat and SNF (solids not fats) increased effectively. Amino acids help to boost the fat percentage whereas the chelated minerals in sprouts contribute to SNF rise.
- Animal Health: Cattle exhibited improved glaze to hide and the animals looked healthier. Sprouts have had positive effects on fertility with an increase in the percent conception rate. Acidity is one of the major factors which decreases the profitability of milk production. The cow dung shows healthy symptoms of digestion. As animals are fed more concentrate & fewer fibers acidity tends to increase. To control acidity, sprouts act very effectively. Many enzymes, minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids etc. all are useful to maintain the normal digestion environment in the animal body. Thus after feeding sprouts the dung which was loose became thick.
We have received the following feedback from other producers:
- Dhanaji Jyotiram Jadhav - Adarki: I had started the sprouts, feeding as directed; it has reduced my expenses cattle feed. Earlier, I was using Rs.66 cattle feed is replaced by sprouts of cost Rs. 34 Thus, there is saving of Rs.32 straight. Also, the milk yield is increased by 1.5 lit. costs me the benefit of Rs. 24. The fat is increased by two points and has additional benefits of Rs.7 @ 0.20 per point of fat for total milk. Thus, I received gain of Rs.63 net per cow after feeding the sprouts. Initially, I did experiments on two cows only but after getting positive results I started for whole and finding good results as well.
- Vivek Shinde – Thakurki: I had started sprouts to two cows out six cows, earlier the feeding of cattle feed was Rs. 45 per cow whereas the sprouts costs us Rs. 35. It resulted in incremental milk 1.75 lit of Rs.32 additional. Two points fat is increased adds Rs. 5, thus I received Rs. 46 additional per cow and the health has improved. Eight days after, my farm was affected with FMD but it was strange to find that only the cows with sprout-feeding are found fit and are not affected with FMD.
- Anil Keshavrao Nimbalkar – Vinchurni: I received information regarding feeding sprouts to my cow from Govind Dairy, so I started feeding the same on my farm to the two cows. Earlier, I was spending Rs. 52 for them, which now comes down to Rs.33. I received incremental 2 liters of milk per cow giving additional Rs.36 whereas the fat is increased by 3 points, which adds my payment Rs.6 per cow. Thus, I am earning additional Rs. 61 and feel an effective difference in routine.
- Prakash Dhaygude – Kolaki: Feeding cattle feed cost me Rs. 18 in which I made changes and started sprouts of Rs.10 as feed to animal. It has reduced my feeding cost and also added glazing to the animal skin now looks fresh. My farm heifer was infected with FMD but due sprout feeding the animals come on track and now FMD is under control and animal started eating grass as well.